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>> it is not based on promises or rhetoric but solid plans and proven results. and an unshakable faith in the american spirit. if there is anyone worried that the last four years of the best we can do, if there's anyone it fears the american dream is fading away, if there is anyone who wonders whether better jobs and better paychecks are a thing of the past, i have a clear and unequivocal message, with the right leadership america is about to come roaring back. ..
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>> host: joining us on by "communicators" this week before the election is mignon cyburn, who after chairman genachowski it was the senior democrat on the federal communications commission. commissioner mignon cyburn, we could start with you. what has your assessment then, reports are up 25% of cell phone towers have been knocked out and people are now using payphones because the service is not working. what is your assessment of the carriers and their ability to
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maintain phone service for people in the affected areas of sandy. >> guest: thank you to the both both of you for allowing me to be there for you today. my condolences go out to the families. there are many loved ones lost in this tragic event. my condolences go out to them, and of course, my hats off to those brave people who continue to answer the call. in terms of the engagement, as you know, the german literally spent the night at the agency. our public safety% of the same. we are definitely engaged in the process that we have been working firsthand went as far as the month goes to make an assessment in terms of those initial numbers. up to 25% of those were disabled during this process. what the fcc does is work with these entities to assess the
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situation on the ground and to use this information to see what we can do better going forward. so yes, some of those legacy is, we have been talking about payphones in a long time. and that just reinforces this in terms of communications engagement. it is the all of the above approach. very few things are not vulnerable. there are a lot of lessons learned and we are engaged to ensure that the best lessons and practices go into this. and we will do better next time there is room to do better. >> host: commissioner cyburn, is this an improvement over the last national disaster that we suffered back in 2005 with hurricane katrina and some other hurricanes and natural disasters? >> guest: it is too early to
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make that assessment. things are being ramped up in a number of ways. we are going to have vulnerabilities. when you have the infrastructure, they are going to be horrible to natural disasters, of course. but i think all in all, in terms of the response, what i am sensing is that people see that deployments have been done and a lot of systems work as best as they can under the circumstances. i think we will see some improvement in terms of the results at the end of the day. >> host: also joining us today is paul kirby who is the senior communications editor. >> guest: the oral arguments
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between the judges on the panel seemed skeptical of the rules. you think we should pressure those rules in light of hurricane sandy? >> guest: i think these really reinforced by some of the things that we put forth -- why we do what we do and why we affirm some of those things. yes, backup power systems definitely, you know, they are in play here. if this affirms how codependent we are, even some people talk about jurisdiction and the like. those lines are being constantly blurred. so even though i am hoping that this will drive the home the need for this engagement.
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i am very hopeful for this. this will influence positively the type of reinforcement and structure that we need to be more resilient in these times. >> host: would you support a mandate? >> guest: i will say that i will review. it's not surprising that i will not make a pronouncement here. but i am supportive of any type of policies that will ensure not only an ongoing and positive robust engagement during normal times, but the ability to ramp up and reinforce jordan times as well. >> guest: as peter said, if mr. romney were to win, by
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republicans -- perhaps some firms -- there would be more mergers in the industry. does that concern you? there seems to be less competition, less consolidation? >> i think there are two things in play here. number one, in terms of how the fcc operates day-to-day, that will not change. in terms of the way in which we evaluate, you know, the way in which we digest information in the way in which we process information, that part will not change. i think it would have a lot of the same principles and
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characteristics. and so in terms of how things are evaluated, that may or may not fluctuate depending on what happens on tuesday. the way in which it governs himself or we process information, that will never change. >> guest: what if there was more consolidation? more consolidation was approved, would that be concerned? >> guest: i am always mindful in terms of any consolidated ecosystem, you know, what that means for independent voices and in terms of diversity. what that means for small communities. they really came home to me when i was watching some of the newscasts when i saw this individual who i will say that english was not his first language. he did not know that the system was going to shut down. he was stranded. how does he receive critical information? from my perspective, and this is
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my, mignon cyburn's, individual speaking, chances are increasing in terms of the information dissemination and the like. if he is in tune or wedded to that particular information, chances are he is going to go to that information source and that will have disseminated that information. this individual will stop. i don't know how long he was stopped because information did not get hit to him. that is why in these cases, i am concerned about a consolidated ecosystem and what it looks like. and i am always open for engagement. >> host: commissioner cyburn, we talked about the first responders. what did you see, what have you assessed so far when it comes to
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first responders and hurricane sandy? and the ability to communicate the. >> guest: a couple of things about new york. new york had a system. i'm horrible with acronyms. but i think that -- i can't remember what the acronym is, but a personalized alert process that kicked in. even from that standpoint, what i thought was the ability of those individuals that found out what was going on. that was an augmented thing. as i said, we spoke with fema and other entities to ensure that systems and backup systems are in place. we work with radio stations to ensure what they need to what i am saying is, again, how codependent we are and how much
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that communications backbone, the infrastructure -- how much that means. especially in times of crisis. the fcc was -- the fcc was always there. >> host: if the president does win, there have been reports that chairman genachowski may leave and he would be appointed acting chairman. >> guest: i have not heard that. what i will say to you is that i am so fortunate to serve. i keep from south carolina bringing a state perspective to the commission. i will continue to do so if confirmed. and i will continue to serve in any way the president and the
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senate deems fit. >> host: if the senate does confirm, what are some of the issues that you want to focus on the second term? in the majority or the minority? >> guest: a lot of things, as you know, are in play right now. we are very busy in terms of options that we were just granted. it's the first of its kind in the world in which we have an incredible opportunity to make more efficient the broadcast base and in terms of ensuring that those with disabilities are taking as much and have as many opportunities in terms of the communications space by way of, you know, these things. these are the two things that are front and center right now.
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of course, universal service reform and what that means. those things are, as we laid out back in march of 2010. we relate how important it is to ensure that our nation is connected. we have 19 million individuals in this nation who, regardless of their means, don't have the infrastructure available in their backyards to be connected. that is very serious to me. that has implications, especially in rural america in terms of attracting industry unalike and educating the people and in terms of, you know, educating as well as providing much-needed health care where they might not have specialized care.
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this is so important. because to me the broadband activity is so important. so many opportunities in which we could take advantage of. we cannot talk about it in terms of this other activity. >> host: he recently gave a speech in that you mention the word voluntary about 11 time. what happened, are you givens concerned that there won't be enough and the people will go back and say it will be a mandatory and voluntary? >> guest: no, i do not. this is a process in terms of this particular incentive that we take seriously and that we have no plans.
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we are doing all we can to make sure that the market forces, that there are market opportunities for both buyers and sellers can take advantage of. this is an incredible and unique opportunity for both broadcasters and those in the mobile industry that increasingly, and i can't say voluntary enough, but it is -- a robust and engage process that is potentially beneficial for this nation if we have the opportunity to bring it and bring more spectrum into play than we have seen in 25 years. we are doing all that we can to make it all it can be. and i'm not going to speculate as to how much, you know, that will bring the market, but it has the potential to really put us on a very firm pathway of
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meeting needs of this nation by way of mobile engagement. >> host: there has been good interest from broadcasters so far. we basing that on? >> i am basing that on the engagement. and the questions are also being asked. the 20 engagement that we have by way of this. when you hear concerns being voiced, change is very difficult. when you hear these concerns being voiced, that doesn't necessarily mean a totally negative engagement. that is a group of individuals in a group of business people who are concerned about the way things are projecting progressing and the way the fcc is handling this is having a engagement in answering as many questions as we can.
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in order for this to be a success. >> host: is the process moving quickly enough in their view? >> guest: absolutely. in april we laid out the framework as to who would be eligible. in september we released a rulemaking notice that will consider all of the technical aspects. this is a really robust and highly technical framework. we have hired outside experts to help us. it is going to be very dynamic as we lead up to 2014. but i'm confident that we have the resources and i'm confident that the internal team that we have is doing everything they possibly can to ensure that there is an open and robust
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engagement and that this is a successful engagement, and that we will move more to market. >> host: only talk to some of your colleagues, they mentioned that the government has a lot of spectrum that is being unused to talk about. could you address those issues is? >> guest: this is in all of the above type strategy. i mention 2014 for a reason. it is going to take a while for us to put all the rules of the road together and to get back to that engagement to take place. in the meantime, what we do we do to address some of the critical needs that we have, in this instance, which is driving
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the mobile engagement. every other person that we know has a cabin. most people that we know, you know, they have smartphones. that uses more energy than our legacy and old way of communicating. i should not say old. but the legacy way of communicating. so in order to meet these needs, we have to look at the best way and the timetable in terms of this and spectrum sharing and looking at what is in the federal profits so to speak, all those things are in place. it is in all of the above approach as to how to get back to the market. and of course, month-to-month, you call us.
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in terms of the dynamic specter and we hear a lot about that. all of these things are how we can be more efficient in how we can get the spectrum market both the short-term and long-term. >> host: in the summer they had a report and they said that sharing the federal government says that agencies should be the norm and the agencies should be identified per share. others say, wait a minute. the first should be not sharing. what would you say to those folks? >> i would say, again, that everything needs to be on the table. he doesn't need to be a rigid
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timetable. we want to address the critical needs going forward. it is difficult. i don't necessarily want to go against any one party or another. but it's difficult for me and i think it should be difficult for others to be rigid in this process. again, we need to look at all the avenues as it relates to getting that much needed and much demand spectrum of the market that includes sharing and repurchasing and reallocating. that includes all of it. so i'm not going to get into the debate. i was going to say that we need to look out at all. in order for us to have a steady pathway or an ability to get things back on the market. >> guest: commissioner cyburn, you have been at some
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interesting meetings. what have you taken away from those? >> guest: we have more in common than you would know. no matter where you had to, no matter who you speak too around the world, what commissioner -- from the smallest of nations to the most developed, you have everyone saying the same thing. they want affordable ubiquitous broadband for their nation because they know what it means in terms of economic development and they know what it means in terms of, you know, the provisions and the information exchange. they know what it means. so we have heard about some complex. especially as it relates to what they call looking at the rules or regulations. they are always going to be, you know, conflicts domestically, and there will always be enhanced and robust and
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sometimes intense conversation on that level. if you speak to the majority of those, they want those to be the best they can be. they want their people to be the best they can be. they see things like we do. broadband enabled infrastructure will leapfrog like some has done in many nations, to leapfrog where they can be. again, you hear more positive things. a lot of sharing going on. there is more going on by way of sharing and negotiations than the headlines reveal. that is what i see those commonalities outweighing some of those things.
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that what you might see out here but. >> host: going back to the composition of the wireless market, a couple of things that could be in the balance regarding the election would be the special actions in which the fcc is trying to change. which allows those and others to get access to facilities. and the other is the internet rules which are challenged. if mitt romney were to win, and he would not want to make changes to some of these smaller providers, what would the impact be on the enterprise market? >> i think sometimes we use these phrases that we take for granted that everyone knows. we need a dedicated circuit that
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many of us use each and every day and when you head to the atm and take more time because you have more money -- that a special access. when you basically are able to lift all you want, that is special access. to me, what you see in terms of that is nice enough looking at how competitive the market is. what that tells in terms of the future of that particular thing is very telling. we are talking about some basic social services from atms to going to the gas pump.
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so the racing conditions, how were they fair? those are the types of things and questions that i trust will be answered regardless of the political makeup. you have to see that there is a need for more data than there is in need as it relates to that. because again, in terms of special access, there are key essential services that could potentially be impacted. if all those variables are not considered for final decisions. >> host: but with the conclusions be different? >> guest: i can only put portillo what this commissioner has to say in terms of inputs and variables. >> host: the open internet rules
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are challenged. those were thrown out by the court. we think happened? if they are upheld, do you think there will be complaints filed and things are being violated? >> guest: i remain very hopeful as it relates to this. we put forth six high-level rules on one sheet of paper that clearly defines the companies providing the service. but this this is the type of engagement that we should have for a robust the structure and exchange. they should be transparent and you should know what you are getting by way of service. if i can use my own device, but if i am trying to access information, you know, legal information, that i can do. if there is a nondiscriminatory pathways leads to this engagement, yes, there is, you know, reasonable network
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management principles. we use these terms like neutrality that sometimes get many people upset. what it is is clear rules of the road that are put forth so very few questions about the engagement exist. i always say in terms of what people asked in regards to official filing -- this is not an inexpensive space to navigate. in terms of officially filing something, that is an economic -- an economic threshold that a lot of people do not have the time or the capacity or the economic means to meet.
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i hear every day about challengers. whether or not those individuals have the means to file a formal complaint, that is different. as a commissioner and the regulator and a public servant, it is up to me to take all of those things into consideration. that is why i am embracing whatever you want to call it. in terms of the open internet engagement, that is why i have embraced it. that is why i have affirmed that it worked when it was a more informal framework and will continue to work under the current framework. it is open and that is there for us to take advantage of. >> host: finally, commissioner cyburn, the election is coming up, the holidays are coming up, lame-duck session is coming up. what is

The Communicators
CSPAN November 5, 2012 8:00pm-8:30pm EST

News/Business. People who shape the digital future.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 9, Cyburn 4, New York 2, Genachowski 2, Sandy 2, Mr. Romney 1, Katrina 1, Fema 1, Mignon Cyburn 1, Fcc 1, Givens 1, America 1, South Carolina 1, Mitt Romney 1, Portillo 1, Paul Kirby 1
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on 11/6/2012